[A2k] Marrakesh in Europe: one treaty, two sets of rules

Teresa Hackett teresa.hackett at eifl.net
Thu Jan 12 07:09:16 PST 2017


While EIFL broadly welcomes European Commission proposals to implement the
Marrakesh Treaty, EIFL opposes extra record-keeping requirements for
accessible works sent outside the EU

Plans by the European Commission (EC) to implement the Marrakesh Treaty for
persons with print disabilities comprise two legislative proposals in a
single package.

The first proposal is a Directive that allows for the creation and
circulation of accessible format copies of books and other printed material
within the European Union (EU). EIFL welcomes the Directive.

The second proposal is a Regulation on cross-border exchange of accessible
format copies from EU member states to non-EU countries.

EIFL opposes extra record-keeping requirements in the Regulation that
exceed what is required by the Marrakesh Treaty. Article 5 in the
Regulation exceeds the Marrakesh Treaty in three ways:

   - It does not specify that ‘authorized entities’, that is, organizations
   such as libraries, are allowed to follow their own record-keeping practices
   and procedures.
   - It requires authorized entities to publish information on the manner
   in which they comply with their record-keeping obligations.
   - It also appears from the proposed Regulation that rightsholders can
   make unlimited demands for information about accessible works sent from EU
   to non-EU countries.

Taken together, these extra requirements could present significant
challenges for libraries, especially non-specialized institutions. If left
unchecked, these extra requirements could undermine the effectiveness of
cross-border exchange with third countries, and thus the very objective of
the Treaty - to ensure the ‘right to read’ for people who are blind,
visually impaired or otherwise print disabled.

While the Directive recognizes the need to avoid administrative burdens for
authorized entities that are creating and sharing accessible formats within
the EU, the Regulation imposes burdens for transfers outside the EU.

To foster the development of a truly global network of authorized entities
as envisaged by the Marrakesh Treaty, there should be just one
record-keeping standard – the standard set out in the Treaty
<http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/treaties/text.jsp?file_id=301016#art2>. The
EU should not impose new requirements that will result in one rule for EU
transfers and another for transfers to the rest of the world.

To demonstrate true leadership of which EU citizens and libraries can be
proud, implementation of the Treaty in the EU must not disadvantage people
with print disabilities living in other regions of the world, including in
developing countries.

Let’s have one treaty, one set of rules.

Read EIFL’s comments on European Commission proposals regarding
implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty for persons with print disabilities
Read about EIFL’s work advocating for the Marrakesh Treaty


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